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Weddings, Private Events, & Functions

Selby Gardens is an ideal setting for weddings, private social celebrations and corporate events. The Gardens provide an urban oasis that will give you and your guests the chance to relax and enjoy your occasion in a stress-free environment. Our 15-acre property is located near resorts and hotels and is conveniently close to downtown shopping, dining and business facilities. 

We offer a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces for small intimate gatherings, corporate meetings, or extravagant affairs for hundreds along the iconic Sarasota Bayfront. Onsite catering is provided by Michael’s On East, the most respected event vendor in the region.  We can help you design the perfect event for your budget or occasion.

Botanical Bliss
For Your Special Day

Welcome to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, a beautiful and serene waterfront setting for your perfect wedding day.  Located in downtown Sarasota, Selby Gardens provides both historical charm and natural elegance. Whether you seek a simple garden wedding, or a modern affair under the stars, the gardens provide you with your ideal one-of-a-kind oasis. Beautifully landscaped with native foliage including live oaks, banyans, and palms, the gardens are a sight to behold year-round.

The garden is divided into two rental sides, which include ceremony, cocktail hour and reception areas. The North side of the garden features the Christy Payne Mansion and Mansion Lawn, Michael’s on the Bay indoor venue, and the Bay Lawn with unparalleled waterfront views. The South side of the garden features the Schimmel Wedding Lawn and Pavilion, Children’s Rain Forest, and unique Banyan Reception Area.

Please contact Michael’s On East for more information:
941-366-0007 ext. 238

Garden Venues

Christy Payne Mansion Lawn

The Christy Payne Mansion provides an exquisite historic backdrop for your wedding day. The Mansion Lawn is a popular ceremony location on the North side of the Garden. This area showcases a magnificent Oak Tree, which has blooming epiphytes and luscious orchids which create a romantic scene to exchange wedding vows. A nearby butterfly garden and lily pond complete this enchanting garden setting.

Bay Lawn

The newly landscaped Bay Lawn is the perfect tranquil location for your cocktail party.  Located in front of Michael’s on the Bay, this setting highlights the pristine landscaping of the gardens and boasts a view of the John Ringling Bridge and much of Sarasota Bay. During the cocktail party and reception, your guests may stroll through the gardens and enjoy the property, just as guests at Selby have done for the past forty years.

Michael’s on the Bay

Michael’s on the Bay is Sarasota’s premiere indoor event facility which was remodeled in the summer of 2016. The 4,800 square-foot venue has 80 feet of glass windows that provide unobstructed bay and sunset views.  This comfortable space has a contemporary feel with organic, neutral tones to enhance the garden’s natural beauty.  This venue features an outdoor balcony, theatrical lighting and modern interior design features.
(Capacity – 250 Seated / 350 Theater)

Schimmel Wedding Lawn and Pavilion

The Schimmel Wedding Pavilion is an incredible bayfront location for ceremonies. It extends out into the Great Lawn, which holds a seating capacity of up to 1,000 guests.  Sunsets viewed from the Schimmel Pavilion are magnificent, making it the most featured nuptial site.

The Banyan Tree

The roots of this mighty tree are extremely enchanting. Old Florida meets Southern Charm under this canopy provided by the century old branches. Clients have the option to use one of the exclusive lighting companies to enhance the space with a variety of string lighting installed all-throughout the tree canopy.  The existing patio provides a unique dance floor accompanied by a nearby balcony that sets the stage for your entertainment.

blankVenue Rental Information


Please read through the tabbed information for details regarding renting the different venues at the Downtown Sarasota campus of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

If you have any questions, please use the contact form found on the contact tab. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Catering and Bar Services

Contracting guest acknowledges that all catering, including alcoholic beverages must be purchased, provided and served by Michael’s on East. Any other food provider, such as but not limited to, cake baker, etc. must be licensed and insured. All services must be provided through the contracted caterer*.

*Other vendors/contractors are an exception to this rule (i.e. DJ, Florist, Baker, Planner, Musicians, etc.). Contracting of these vendors must be provided, in writing, to Michael’s On East 30 days prior to Event.  Lighting that is hung over guests’ heads and attached to Garden’s grounds must be provided by the 2 pre-approved vendors, unless prior approval is obtained in writing by the Sales Associate.

No alcohol shall be served or given to any person except by the approved catering provider. Persons under the age of 21 shall not be served or given alcoholic beverages. Event Host shall assume responsibility for attendees’ intoxication and subsequent actions.  Selby Gardens reserves the right to shut down, at any time, alcohol service at the Event. Except as provided by the approved Catering Provider in accordance with this Contract, no alcohol may be brought or consumed at Garden’s Property; doing so will result in a fine.


The Gardens has parking for approximately 200 vehicles in 3 paved lots. Parking is limited, and there may be more than one event held at the Gardens concurrently. Your guests may park in the Gardens designated parking lots free of charge. We kindly ask that your guests not park on Palm Avenue.

Facility Rental Times and Details

Selby Gardens is open to visitors between the hours of 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., and all visitors are asked to depart no later than 5:00 p.m.  Selby has a strict policy that no event should interfere with our guests’ experiences. Consequently, roping off or stanchioning areas to prevent access to garden visitors is strictly prohibited. Guests are permitted to view any area of the gardens during regular hours.

The Garden’s outdoor facilities are available for private events during hours when the Gardens are closed to the public beginning at 5:00PM. Note: A noise ordinance enforced throughout the City of Sarasota prohibits music after 11:00PM. All outdoor areas are subject to weather conditions. A rain contingency plan must be arranged with Michael’s On East prior to event date.

The rental time may be adjusted to include delivery and setup based upon availability.  All timing of the Set-Up, Removal and Clean-Up and of the Event itself must be coordinated with at least 10 business days prior to the date of event except as scheduled above. Event must begin and end by specified time noted in the schedule above, (time being of the essence).

Wedding Rehearsals

Rehearsals are scheduled for the day prior to the wedding at the discretion of Selby Gardens and during normal operating hours. Your sales associate reserves the right to change the time of the rehearsal. Your sales associate will notify the contracting guest and rescheduling will take place accordingly.


Reservations will be secured after a signed contract and reservation deposit are received and countersigned by the Garden’s representative.  For wedding ceremonies and reception, the reservation deposit is 25% of the base total, plus tax.  Verbal reservations will be held for 10 days to allow a client to submit a credit card or check.  Due to the volume of requests, dates will not be held for more than 10 days. The balance of the event fee is due 4 days prior to the scheduled event.

Green Rooms

Green rooms are provided by Selby Gardens as a courtesy, if available. Green room location(s) are assigned on a first come, first served basis.  Access to Selby Gardens green rooms is NOT available prior to scheduled time. Any personal preparations for the event (i.e. make-up, hair, etc.) prior to scheduled time must be completed off-site.

Decorations and Usage

The following is not permitted. Glitter, Confetti, Stapling, Nailing to Walls, etc. All decorations must be pre-approved by Selby Gardens and Michael’s On East and must be removed by the end of the event. All decorating is highly recommended to be installed by pre-approved vendors.

Insurance Certificate

A certificate of insurance is required for ALL vendors doing business at the Gardens. A $1,000,000 combined public liability for personal injury and property damage naming Marie Selby Botanic Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236, as insured, is required and must be received at  least two weeks prior.

Cancellation and Reservation Refund Policy

The contracting guest may cancel their contract at any time. All cancellations must be in writing. If a contracting guest cancels the contract more than 9 months prior to event, 10% of the rental fee will be refunded. If the contracting guest cancels less than 9 months prior to the event, the entire 25% deposit will be forfeited.  The total fee is retained by Selby Gardens if the event is cancelled less than thirty 30 days prior to the Date of Event.

All prices subject to change.

Great Room By The Bay

Monday-ThursdayBreakfast 7am-9:30am$2,000
Lunch 11am-3pm$2,000
All Day 7am-3pm$3,000
Evening 5pm-11pm$2,500
Friday-SundayBreakfast 7am-9:30am$2,000
Evening 5pm-11pm$5,000

Gardens’ Great Lawn (Includes Gazebo, Banyan Area, & Schimmel Wedding Pavilion)


Included in your wedding rental fee is a complimentary Dual Annual Membership for the Gardens.
All event and rental contracts incur a minimum $150.00 staffing fee. Staffing fee is based on guest count and type of event.
Ceremony chairs are provided at an additional of $1.00 per chair.
A $1,000 Security/Damage Deposit is required.
* Restrictions Apply
** Tents are permitted with an additional ground damage fee of $3,000.00

Exclusive Caterer

Our exclusive caterer is Michael’s On East, Sarasota’s premier caterer. From an intimate reception to a dynamic affair, Michael’s On East will create a dazzling setting to make your special event a memorable success. All alcohol must be provided and served by the caterer. Request more information.

Have more than one date in mind

We encourage you to take the photo tour and check out the brochures prior to setting up a tour

Contact Michael’s On East Catering Department at 941-366-0007, x238 and/or with any questions.

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